Document Type

Honors Thesis


With the increased presence of video games in the cultural zeitgeist, film producers in both Hollywood and the Japanese market are continuing to create adaptations of games into films. Hollywood, however, has struggled to create critically and commercially successful adaptations, while the Japanese market was able to find a formula that works far sooner. By examining the narrative techniques utilized in film adaptations and their respective source materials, a number of important factors come to light in determining the success of an adaptation. Managing scope, evaluating genre, and determining target markets all play a key role in the success of a film. A number of films are examined in close detail to discover these patterns, including Street Fighter, Warcraft, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and Persona 3 the Movie. Lastly, three franchises in particular are highlighted for breaking away from the typical world and story adaptation frameworks: Final Fantasy VII, Pokémon, and Kingdom Hearts. These films all add something unique to the adaptation process and are indicative of the industries’ willingness to experiment.



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